— Press Release —
For Immediate Release:
June 6, 2011
School workers board buses to capital to urge legislators to maintain tax revenues to stop budget cuts to education!
LOS ANGELES, CA – Just days before California’s June 15 budget deadline, cafeteria workers, classroom aides, school janitors, child care providers, and community college employees rallied tonight and boarded a convoy of buses at midnight bound for Sacramento to urge legislators to support existing tax revenues to stop even more cuts to education.
“Over the past three years $20 billion has been cut from California’s schools and community colleges. Enough is enough!” said Eddie Reed, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 99 and a Bus Driver with the Los Angeles Unified School District. “Student programs and services are really suffering. The school year has been cut. Summer school is gone. Children are being packed into classrooms. We’re urging legislators to stand up for our children and vote for a budget that funds our schools.”
In addition to the cuts to K-14 education, tens of thousands of young children have been impacted by more than $1 billion in cuts to child care during the last couple of years.
Education workers will spend all day Tuesday, June 7, visiting legislators and urging them to support Governor Brown’s proposal to repay schools money owed under Proposition 98 and voting to maintain existing tax revenues.
Under Governor Brown’s “May Revise” budget proposal, K-12 schools and community colleges would receive $3 billion of the $6.6 billion in increased state revenue. For the Los Angeles Unified School District alone, the second largest school district in the country, this would mean additional funding of $183 million, saving vital after school programs and other student services.
If tax revenues are not maintained, an estimated $5 billion more in cuts to education will have to be made, resulting in a shortened school year, increased class sizes, and the further reduction of critical student services. And another round of cuts will gut child care programs that families rely on to stay in the workforce.
SEIU Local 99 is a union of more than 40,000 education workers, including K-12 schools, early education centers, and community colleges. We are teachers, teaching assistants, custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and others working in schools, colleges, and administrative offices throughout Southern California.